(Header image courtesy janeandd, Flickr)
Article by Melissa Kruse-Peeples, NS/S Education Coordinator, published November 14, 2015.
In the lyrics of America the Beautiful, the line “amber waves of grain” does not necessarily conjure up the image of farmland in the desert Southwest. However, if you were looking out onto the farming landscapes of our region 100 years ago that is exactly what you would have seen. Arizona, southern California, and the Mexican state of Sonora were one of the breadbaskets of America. Not only did wheat contribute to quintessential Sonoran cuisine – such as the large, oversized flour tortilla – wheat was a major cash crop and Southwestern grown wheat was exported throughout much of the country, particularly during the Civil War.